Doug Weston's Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA
The Troubadour is a musical landmark. It is truly one of the most legendary clubs in Los Angeles, if not the nation.
In 1957 Doug Weston opened a small coffee house located 364 N. La Cienega Boulevard. It was located next door to the Coronet Theater. It was originally called the Troubadour Cafe-Theatre. The small club primarily presented literary readings and small theater.
In 1961, the small 65 seat playhouse/club/coffee house outgrew it's space and relocated to
9083 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood - just east of Doheny Drive.
Initially it continued to present plays.
The new Troubadour Cafe-Theatre had 350 seats and a stage larger than the Whisky A Go Go.
The Troubadour soon became a country and folk music showcase. It would occasionally present blues bands and stand-up comedians.
Doug Weston insisted that performers sign a contract that required them to play several consecutive nights. This usually resulted in a one, two or three week commitment from performers. New acts often had to commit to return to the club for another run of shows if asked.
The roster of performers who played the Troubadour between 1962 and 1976 include:
The Smothers BrothersChristy Minstrels
Jimmy Rodgers*Hoyt Axton (Greenback Dollar guy)Josh WhiteThe Journey Men
* Hoyt Axton had a hit with song Green Back Dollar. He would become a regular Troubadour performer over the years.
Hoyt Axton (a frequent Troubadour performer)Modern Folk QuartetThe MenGlenn Yarborough of the Limeliters
In 1964, excellent Dana Tana's restaurant opened next door to the Troubadour (9071 Santa Monica Boulevard).
2008 photo: tlc
OdettaThe DillardsJudy HenskeRod McKuen
The Association (the 1st rock n' roll oriented band to play at the Troubadour)Buffy Sainte-MarieJudy CollinsSmothers BrothersJoe and EddieMuddy WatersOdettaNitty Gritty Dirt BandJohn Denver
Hoyt AxtonChad MitchellNitty Gritty Dirt BandSunshine CompanyCanned HeatPaul Butterfield Blues Band
Hoyt AxtonArlo GuthrieJudy GuthrieRichie HavensGlenn YarboroughJoni MitchellJudy CollinsRod McKuenGordon LightfootSunshine CompanyPat PaulsenBuffy Sainte-Marie
Richard PryorNeil YoungRick NelsonDionBobby DarinJoni MitchellLaura NyroBrewer and ShipleyPocoSteve MartinMason WilliamsJames TaylorLinda RonstadtJackson BrownNeil DiamondCountry Joe and the FishTiny TimFlying Burrito BrothersDillards
Randy NewmanPaul ButterfieldDionVan MorrisonLinda RondstadtJohn HartfordGlen CampbellTiny TimDillards*Elton JohnRick NelsonBill MedleyJohn PhilipsGordon LightfootJohn DenverKris KristoffersonJames TaylorWaylon JenningsCat Stevens
*Elton John made his USA debut at the Troubadour in 1970. He returned here in 1979 for 10 sold out shows.
Tim HardenDon McLeanSeals and CroftsMelanieCat StevensCarly SimonKris KristoffersonHoyt AxtonJanis IanJohnny RiversJohn DenverRandy NewmanBilly PrestonJohn PrineHelen ReddyCheech and ChongNitty Gritty Dirt Band
Rita CoolidgeDon McLeanJackson BrowneBobby GoldsboroGlen CampbellBilly PrestonCanned Heat
Captain BeefheartHoyt AxtonPaul ButterfieldVan MorrisonJim CroceBonnie RaittAnne MurrayDr HookElton John
1973 was a tough year for the Troubadour.The new Roxy Theater opened up at 9007 Sunset Boulevard.The Roxy was large and plush. It offered performers a more flexible booking policy. It had strong record industry connections and support.
In 1973, the economy was in a slump. Record companies had to cut cost. They no longer put money up front for bands to play small clubs. The record industry and promoters focused on more established performers that could fill large arenas.There was the emergence of the Rock Super Stars (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and the Who). It was much more lucrative for promoters to staged large rock spectacles.Doug Weston found it increasingly difficult to secure top level talent without record label support.The Troubadour had an large overhead (50 regular employees).Also, the Troubadour was having problems with the fire department. The club had to cutback it's seating capacity from 350 to 300.There were disagreements with record companies over financial support of acts and advertising policies. Several times Weston closed the club for restructuring.The days of the six night a week shows were over. There was a chance the club could operated on a short week similar to the Roxy.
Hoyt AxtonRick SpringfieldHarry ChapinLeo SayerEtta JamesDan HicksBill WithersKenny RankinJimmy BuffettRoger McGuinn
Neil SedakaMiles DavisCommander CodyBerry ManilowMelissa ManchesterSpanky and Our GangHerbie HancockElton John returns for benefit concert
Country Joe McDonald
The Staple Singers
Over the years the conditions of the club deteriorated. The dressing rooms were cramped.
In the late '70's and '80's it started to showcased the more popular new wave and heavy metal bands.
Doug Weston was suffering from failing health and asked his friend and partner Eddie Karayan to take over running the venue.
Doug Weston died in 1998. Karayan continues to operated the club.